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Thursday, 24 May 2012
Page: 5530


Ms PARKE (Fremantle) (13:46): I want to take this opportunity to remember Laurie Humphreys, a very significant and special resident of the City of Cockburn within my electorate of Fremantle, who passed away from cancer on 8 May 2012. I attended Laurie's funeral at Fremantle Cemetery last week on 15 May along with many of Laurie's family members, including his partner of many years, Frankie, and his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as his many friends, including the member for Swan.

In late 2009 I spoke of Laurie's experience during my contribution to the motion on the national apology to the forgotten Australians. Laurie was sent to Australia as one of many British child migrants in the middle of last century. From that kind of start in life, a childhood of hardship and dislocation, Laurie Humphreys went on to make an enormous contribution to community and public life in Western Australia as an active and successful unionist, a member of the Medina Branch of the ALP in Western Australia, and a long-time and influential Cockburn councillor. Laurie also formed FACT, Forgotten Australians Coming Together, and it was his staunch advocacy for forgotten Australians throughout Western Australia and nationwide that helped to put this miscarriage of justice into the public view.

In his book, A Chip Off What Block: A Child Migrant's Tale, Laurie talked about how extremely blessed he was in his life, despite his upbringing and despite never having had the benefit of a formal education. Laurie grew from a boy who was given very little in the way of love and care to a man who gave so much to his family, his community and to this nation, and I want to pay tribute to him in this place.